I am a customer of Wells Fargo or "WF" for short. It's a good bank. I can do most things online. They even have a nice mobile version of their site. I don't really ever have to go into the bank if I don't want to. In fact, most of the time I even make deposits at an ATM. It's simple, and it's quick. In reality, I can't say enough good about my web/ATM experience with Wells Fargo, BUT (and this is a very large "BUT") I can't stand their in-person customer service. Here's why:
Whenever I go into the lobby of a Wells Fargo I am confronted with the forced smile of a customer service representative asking me, "Can I help you with anything"?
If I say a polite, "no". She continues (and I used "she" because it has always been a woman for me), "How's your day going today?"
I say, "Fine" as I quickly move to fill out a deposit slip.
"Can you believe the weather?"
"Yeah, it's good." I hurry to properly add the checks I'm depositing.
"So, what are you doing here today?"
Sheepishly, "Just depositing."
"Okay, well have a nice day."
At this point she can tell I've filled out my deposit slip and I'm ready to move on. This leads to the next awkward conversation with the person behind the counter. It proceeds much the same way with questions about the weather, what are my banking needs, and "are you looking forward to the weekend?" I've always wanted to lie about this and talk about the funeral I'm attending for my mom or something, but I go to this bank often and think they'd eventually figure out that my mom dies a whole lot. They also start to ask a lot of very personal questions that I don't really want to talk about in front an entire lobby full of people. Things like: "Where are you going this weekend? Any big personal plans for Friday night?" Now, these don't seem very personal on the surface, but I just wanna' make a deposit and get out of here, not recite my whole life story. Then there's "Is business going well for ya'?" Basically, "How much money are you making so that I know which product to offer sell you on?"
Now, here's where it gets frustrating: the teller very politely throws in a "Did you know that you can save XXXX amount of money if you signed up today for XXXX program? You're eligible and I can get that going for you right now." It may seem like an innocent little offer on the surface, but it's at that point the reality sets in. The whole time you've been talking to these people you may have made the mistake of thinking that they actually care about you, but then, ever so slowly, you begin to recognize that the whole thing has just been one, long sales pitch to get you to buy into their product so that they can get their little spiff. Aaarrrrggghhhhh. One time I even told one of them to stop asking me questions 'cause "I don't want anything".
I have started to become very curt with them and answer as little as possible. Here's the real frustration: I know that they're only doing their job so I can't be mad at them. If they didn't ask a million questions and try to get you to buy into some program every time you came in they would lose their job. So, what's the recourse? Well, for me, it's to keep banking there, but go in as little as possible. I can't switch now 'cause I've got too much stuff tied up with them, and they are darn convenient.
So, what are your thoughts? I am in sales with websites, etc., but when I do a sales pitch I actually get to know the customer because I want to get to know them. I would rather spend time chatting with this person about their kids, their job, their life, and what their goals are than even give them a sales pitch. Where do we draw the line? How do we react to that kind of "Customer Service"? Is there a polite way to tell Wells Fargo to "Knock it off!"? I really don't need some cute blonde behind the counter flirting with me to get me to open a CD. If I need a CD I'll get a CD.
Anywho, my two cents. I wanna' provide good customer service, but I never want to fake that I care just so you'll purchase my new product.